10:28 AM

Sooo... it´s a weekly struggle to try and figure out what to say in these letters. The good weeks are often the weeks where nothing happened. But I´ll mention a few things:
1. I got hit in the face by a volleyball. Norawong Choro spiked it basically as hard as he could and it hit me square in the nose. I'm over it, but it's definitely still the talk of the zone. My Branch President said that he prayed for my nose and people are still making jokes about how far it ricocheted. You can laugh too, if you want.
2. As you are all aware, it snowed earlier this week. It was Sister Silva's first time ever seeing snow, so this was big news.
3. Us sisters are now well-known in the hall as being The-Sisters-Who-Always-Sing-Disney-Songs-Really-Loud. We're hitting up Broadway pretty soon. (I'm the designated "woo-woo" person).
4. I realized as I showed my companion a picture of me at my second degree black belt test that I can now read the writing on my black belt. I looked at the belt and screamed, "HEY! THAT'S IN KATAKANA! IT SAYS SUMISU! THAT'S MY NAME!" I was pretty pumped. By the way, Mom, the letter I wrote you was mostly Hiragana with a little Katakana mixed in there.
5. My happiness is largely dependent on whether or not they have feta at the salad bar.
6. I love teaching Fowers Sensei best. The investigator that he "plays" is a 64 year old alcoholic named Matsui. But he's also a goof-ball, so our lessons always include a lot of fun. Fowers Sensei is also just a super encouraging teacher, so he also gives us subtle hints if we're trying to figure out a word in Japanese. During our last lesson, we had to look up several words in the dictionary, so he goes, "Jisho (dictionary) party huh?" Then later, I shared the scripture in Isaiah that talks about how "though your sins are like crimson, they shall be white as snow", etc., but he was wearing a red tie right then and Fowers Sensei is a Ute fan, so he told me that he didn't want to give up his red tie. So I told him he needed to wear a blue one. We got a good kick out of that one, too.
7. We got new Nihonjin this week (missionaries from Japan going to Japan). They got here yesterday evening straight from Japan. So that meant more orientation for me and the Zone Leaders, yay! There are three new sisters and five new elders. Of the five elders, most of the speak decent English. The sisters, however, do not. So last night we had to teach them some MTC rules and stuff. This was about the time where I realized that I couldn't speak Japanese. I was supposed to explain their schedule for the next few days, and it was a struggle, LET ME TELL YOU. "So... Breakfast... 7. 7 o'clock. Cafeteria. It's here. Do you understand me? Okay. Do you have a map? Great. Oh, you can't read English? Well, it's RIGHT HERE. Understand? Great!" President Mack really struggled to define "Coordinating Sister" in Japanese. So I finally just said, "I'm really important." And they seemed to buy that, okay. I then had to take the sisters to their room and explain to them Residence Rules. That too was a struggle. But I think we got a few things understood. They know not to burn anything down and stuff. The more I spoke, the more my Japanese actually made sense, though. I also had to teach them how to make a bed. They had never done it before, so they were absolutely fascinated watching me. Good times all around.
Well, friends, it's been real. I've only got two of these P-Day things left in the US of A. I'm super excited to leave and go to Japan. Take care, and in the meantime, just write me a letter or something. #foreveralone.
Love, Sumisu Shimai

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